Agenda and draft minutes

Language Committee - Monday, 13th June, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conferrence

Items
No. Item

1.

Personal

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all to the meeting.

 

 

 

Condolences were expressed to the family of Cen Llwyd on his passing.

2.

Apologies

Minutes:

None.

3.

Disclosure of personal/prejudicial interests

Minutes:

None.

4.

To confirm as a true record the minutes of the Meeting held on 22 November 2022 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED to confirm as a true record the minutes of the meeting held on the 22 November 2022.

5.

Welsh Language Committee Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 182 KB

6.

Welsh Language Standards Monitoring Report April 2021 - March 2022 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

The Language Officer outlined the legal framework of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and the requirement to produce a Welsh Language Standards Monitoring Report.

 

The Officer reported upon the key achievements within 2021-2022 in the report as follows:-

         Innovation, adapting quickly to the Coronavirus crisis, by organising democratic meetings virtually, with simultaneous translation service from Welsh to English; ensuring that the Council could protect the use of the Welsh language at public meetings.

         Ensuring that Clic Ceredigion, the customer care service provided the proactive offer of Welsh language services at the first point of contact; and that the language choice was recorded for the purpose of  further contact.

         Live streaming of Cabinet and Council meetings on Facebook – using the  Social Media platform to alert service users, that a Welsh and English stream was available.  The Welsh stream (the main language of the meeting) was broadcasted on the Facebook account; with the simultaneous translation service introducing the English translation;  promoting  the principle of using Welsh in public administration.

         Used specific days in the national calendar to raise awareness of the Welsh language, organise virtual activities on St David's Day, Welsh Music Day, and Welsh Language Rights Day.

         Held a Ceredigion Bilingual Futures Forum workshop, to review what has been achieved to date with the Ceredigion Language Strategy, also considering what more would need to be done in order to be able to prepare for the successor Strategy.

 

The Language Officer reported that in the Assurance Report ‘Bridging the Gap’ the Welsh Language Commissioner placed an expectation on the Council to self-regulate its performance against the requirements of the Welsh Language Standards. With the Leadership Group’s consent, a selection of Standards dealing with service provision was reviewed, as well as some of the Operational Standards which deal with internal administration. All Corporate Lead Officers were requested to score their services against aspects of the Welsh Language Standards, in an attempt to gauge current compliance.

It was stated that the main finding was that the Council was performing quite well against the requirements of those Standards, which pertain to the provision of primary services, i.e. users could be confident of receiving the following services in Welsh - services by telephone, written services, and services which could be planned in advance. Users were less likely to be able to receive more personal services or face-to-face services in Welsh. Although the Council aims to respect the language choice of its service users, in this respect it was very dependent on the expertise required, and the language skills available on different shifts.  This finding was in line with national findings collated by the Welsh Language Commissioner: ‘Bridging the Gap’ Assurance Report. Following this self-regulatory work, it was reported that there would be a review on the Welsh Standards’ action plan for the benefit of planning work for the next phase. 

This report noted the progress towards fulfilling the Welsh Language Standards as well as presenting specific data for the 2021-22 financial year. It was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Feedback on Language Awareness Session and Welsh Language Standards (10 June)

Minutes:

The Language Officer reported that the session had been successful, and 26 Councillors had attended. Issues discussed included language planning for the future and the language policy. Members of the Committee stated that the session had been informative and thanked her for her work.

8.

Chairing and Holding Bilingual Meetings pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Minutes:

All Members welcomed the document and agreed that it should be circulated throughout the Council to promote the need to hold bilingual meetings.

9.

Welsh Language Commissioner seeks evidence of Compliance with Welsh Language Standards: Self-Assessment Questionnaire 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 771 KB

Minutes:

It was reported that the Questionnaire would be completed prior to the next meeting due to the deadline in July for its submission, however, a copy of the response would be presented at that meeting.

10.

Forward Work Programme

Minutes:

The Language Officer reported that the draft agenda would be circulated to the Chair prior to the meeting and items could be added/removed at that stage.

 

The following was also agreed:-

 

           Circulate to Members the Street Naming and Numbering Policy due to the number of dwellings that were changing their dwelling names from Welsh to English and naming their new dwellings in English. However, it was reported that recently more dwellings were reverting to the Welsh names than vice versa in the County, this was welcomed by Members.

           That Members receive a briefing session on the new categorisation policy of schools by the Schools Service.

11.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

None.